“But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, ‘In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.’ It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.” Jude 17-23
In order to live out the gospel in all that we do…
...We submit to the Bible.
...We are a family.
...We serve others.
We have been both secured by Jesus’ service to us and equipped with spiritual gifts, that we might freely serve both the church and the world. Our members are called to pour themselves out in a variety of ways, as well as to consider their entire lives to be spiritual acts of service. (Mark 10:45, Acts 20:24, Acts 20:35, Phil. 2:17)
...We make disciples.
The understanding of the eternal dimensions of the gospel of Christ and the eternal destiny of men and women leads to a deep sobriety/seriousness on the part of believers. (Titus 2:7, 1 Peter 4:7, 2 Timothy 4:5, 1 Thessalonians 5:8)
“As evangelical faith becomes secularized, its interests have been blurred with those of the culture. The result is a loss of absolute values, permissive individualism, and a substitution of wholeness for holiness, recovery for repentance, intuition for truth, feeling for belief, chance for providence, and immediate gratification for enduring hope. Christ and his cross have moved from the center of our vision.” The Cambridge Declaration (1996), Solus Christus: The Erosion of Christ-Centered Faith, The Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals
1. Seriousness regarding understanding biblically erroneous teaching in our day. (v.17-19)
1 - Unaware
3 - Somewhat Aware
5 - Acutely Aware and Observant
2. Seriousness regarding growth in holiness and knowledge of Christ. (v.20-21)
1 - Seldom Reads the Bible or Prays
3 - Reads and Prays Semi-weekly
5 - Daily Pursuit of the Lord through Scripture and Prayer
3. Anxiously waiting and looking for the coming of Christ which leads to a concern for the eternal welfare of people.
1 - Rarely think about the 2nd Coming of the Lord
3 - Occasionally think about 2nd Coming of the Lord
5 - Pray daily “thy kingdom come, thy will be done”
“A continual looking forward to the eternal world is not (as some modern people think) a form of escapism or wishful thinking, but one of the things a Christian is meant to do. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is….It is since Chrisitians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth “thrown in”: aim at earth and you will get neither.” CS Lewis, Mere Christianity
4. Seriousness regarding communicating the gospel. (v.22-23)
• Have mercy on those who are sliding away.
• Save others by snatching them out of the fire.
• “Show(ing) mercy with fear” as we avoid the inevitable pollution of erroneous teaching and living.
“(This is a picture) of a man shunning an infected garment lest he should catch the contagion.” John Calvin
1 - Unaware
3 - Fuzzy Understanding
5 - Petitioning the Father and Making Weekly Strides to Communicate the Gospel and Invest in the Lives of Others
1. How does living with deep sobriety, regarding daily gifts and eternal realities, lead to a life of serving others?
2. How can retirement be a great blessing or a curse?
3. How can waiting for the mercy of Christ to be revealed lead to inactivity or passivity?
4. What does this statement mean: “Don’t run from but run to those who are hurting or drifting”?
5. How do we continually find ourselves transfixed by the beauty and goodness and glory of Christ? How do we continually TREASURE JESUS?
“As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” John 20:21